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Kiwi sailor to take on Mini Transat

Sep 24 2015 09:25 AM | island time in Articles

Kiwi sailor to take on Mini Transat

As the 2015 Mini Transat fleet depart France at the start of this year’s race, Kiwi sailor Cory McLennan has officially announced his intention to represent New Zealand in the 2019 Mini Transat. McLennan made the announcement at the official launch ceremony of his yacht B&G Racing on Friday 11 September, at Westhaven Marina in Auckland.

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21-year old McLennan hosted friends, family, sponsors and media at the launch ceremony, where he thanked them for their generous support. McLennan said: “After a two month refit, I am proud to launch B&G Racing, and incredibly grateful to all my sponsors and supporters.”

McLennan made headlines in 2014 when he became the youngest person ever to compete in – and complete – the solo trans Tasman yacht race. The race, which took McLennan 16 days after his boat’s autopilot failed, showed a level of drive and commitment that belies his years.

McLennan commented: “The launch of B&G Racing marks the start of the next phase of my solo sailing career. The 2014 Solo Trans-Tasman Challenge was a great starting point, but now I want to go bigger… Bigger and smaller! The Mini 6.50 yacht is an affordable way to achieve my dreams of representing NZ in the world of solo offshore sailing.”

The Mini 6.50 is a racing class yacht designed specifically to take on the Mini Transat race. This solo trans-Atlantic race sees hundreds of competitors from around the world sail unassisted for over 4,000 miles, with only one stop along the way.

McLennan says he was inspired to follow his dreams of representing New Zealand it the world of solo offshore sailing by his hero, Sir Peter Blake. Born and raised in Greymouth on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, McLennan had to overcome many obstacles to get where he is today.

“Where I grew up, farming was really the only career option, but I wanted to show the world that West Coasters can do anything.” McLennan said.

McLennan plans to cover as many miles in training as he can over the next four years, in the build-up to the 2019 Mini Transat. McLennan said: “I’ll start with local races and the PIC Coastal Classic, then in 2017 I want to take on the Round North Island two-handed race. Following that, another crack at the 2018 Solo Trans-Tasman, before making the trip to France.”

McLennan is actively seeking sponsorship for his 2019 Mini Transat campaign. For further information, contact Cory McLennan on 022 624 3410 or corymclennan@yahoo.co.nz, or follow Cory on his Facebook page.

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2015 Rio Test Event

Aug 24 2015 10:04 AM | island time in Articles

2015 Rio Test Event: Gold, Bronze for Team Jolly and five top fives
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Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie have won bronze in the Women’s 470 at 2015 Rio Test Event today adding another medal to the gold secured by Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in the 49er class yesterday.
Another two top five finishes were added to the New Zealand results today with Josh Junior in the Finn class, and Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders in the Nacra 17 both finishing 5th overall.
Women’s 470
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie concede that an average first half to 2015 Rio Test Event put them in catch up mode and they were pleased to turn things around at the mid-way mark and secure a podium finish today.
“We’re actually pretty happy with it. I think we sailed well for the last half of the event but we had such a shocker in the first half that I think this was about as good as we could come back with so we’re happy to pull it together at the end,” says Jo Aleh.
Lying 3rd going into the medal race today in Rio silver or gold were a hard ask for the kiwis after mixed results over the opening days of the regatta and with more than one crew within reaching distance on points, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie had a job on their hands to defend the bronze medal position today.
Polly Powrie explains, “We were in and out of the bronze medal on the first upwind beat and the first downwind, and then we managed to solidify 2nd place in the race which gave us the bronze medal. So we’re pretty happy to pull that one off.”
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) were well placed for the gold medal today but it slipped from their grasp when they finished last in the medal race and USA’s Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha stole the overall victory.
During 2015 Aleh and Powrie, known as Team Jolly, have now stockpiled seven podium finishes at the major international regattas in the Women’s 470 class including victories at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Princess Sofia Regatta and the y claimed the Women’s 470 European Championship title.
The Men’s and Women’s 470 World Championships are on in October in Haifa, Israel.
Josh Junior romped away for a medal race win in Rio today in the Finn finale.
Lying 5th going into today the win wasn’t enough to alter his overall position and he wraps up the regatta with that as his final result.
“I had a great medal race,” says Junior. “I ended up winning the last race of the regatta and you know it’s a great way to finish the event, so really, really happy.”
“It is a good result, but I always wanted more. Hopefully next year can be better, but fifth is okay and I will just keep moving forward.”
“I was reasonably resilient throughout the week and you know, I kept chipping away. Things weren’t really going my way, so I felt like a hung pretty tough, dug deep and got a good result at the end of it.”
Like the rest of the team Junior says familiarity with Brazil is critical. “Just getting used to the environment - living here, eating here, sailing here - all of that stuff is really important and we’ve been here two of three times already. It’s about building up our knowledge of the place.”
25 year old Josh Junior, who hails from the Worser Bay Boating Club in Wellington has had an impressive run in the Finn class this year so far, with consistent top ten finishes at the major regattas around the world.
He was on the podium at the Finn European Championship, with silver and at ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth with silver again.
Later this year Junior, along with NZL Sailing Team-mate Andrew Murdoch and other kiwi Finn sailors will have the opportunity to contest their 2015 World crown in front of a home crowd when Takapuna Boating Club hosts the prestigious Finn Gold cup this November.
Junior is excited; “It’s going to be awesome. We’re going to have eighty of the world’s best Finns in New Zealand, and it’s going to be a good world champs and it will be good to try and medal there – go a bit better and win a medal at home – it would be really cool.”
Nacra 17
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders went into the final double-points race in 6th overall, and a decent final race sees them lift their placing to record a top five finish at 2015 Rio Test Event.
The Nacra 17 medal race was bumped from yesterday’s schedule and they were first to hit the medal race course today in Rio to do battle for the podium.
With the crews behind them in the standings unable to catch up on points Jones and Saunders had nothing to lose, and the kiwis put it all on the line for the best outcome possible. Unfortunately they pushed the limit a little far and concerned they’d hit the start too early they went back for a penalty turn, before charging back through the fleet to cross the line in 4th and end the regatta in 5th overall.
Saunders describes today’s medal race, “It was definitely eventful. We started and we thought we were over the start line, so we went back and we were pretty much on the back foot from there, but we fought really well in the race and actually got into 2nd at the last top mark, unfortunately we couldn’t quite hold it in the last downwind. But it was a good race from us all in all.”
Jones adds, “It’s a bit frustrating since we were so close.”
On their overall performance during the week she explains, “The races that have gone well they’ve gone really well and we’ve got a lot of top three’s in our placings over the week, but it’s just getting rid of the bad races and we’ll be right up there I think.”
Saunders commented on what they will take away from the week of racing at the Olympic venue, “I think we’ve learned more about the Rio conditions, you know we really feel like Rio can throw anything at you so you’ve got to be a pretty complete sailor and have a good set of skills for different conditions. We really like sailing here so we’re in a positive mid set going forward for next year.”
Jones (21 years) and Saunders (24 years) paired up to sail in the mixed multihull class back in 2013 when it was announced as the multihull event for the 2016 Rio Olympics. This year they finished 4th at the Nacra 17 world Championships sailed in Arhus, Denmark in July.
Yesterday Peter Burling and Blair Tuke took 49er gold in front of a beach crowd at the Olympic sailing venue on Guanabara Bay. In their medal race they played a conservative game plan covering the only crew with the potential to steal the overall win from them.
Burling and Tuke have totally dominated the Olympic 49er class over the past twelve months, and indeed the past three years, with an unprecedented string of consecutive victories. Burling and Tuke have now won 20 major events in succession. No other 49er sailor has ever been unbeaten for 12 months, let alone three years.
Here in Rio they’ve stamped it home once again. Significantly this victory is on the Olympic Games race track and they remain the crew to beat at the one year to go mark.
Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech have wrapped up the regatta in 4th overall. The kiwi skiff women sailed a strong medal race yesterday to take 3rd place on the water, but it wasn’t enough for them to grab a place on the podium.
“A challenging week in Rio,” report Maloney and Meech. “We lacked consistency in our racing having some glamours, as well as a few too many shockers leading us to finish fourth overall.”
“This position isn't too much fun, so with a year to go we will make sure to make it count! Time to learn and grow!”
Maloney, 23 years and Meech, 22 haven’t finished outside the top ten at all the major international regattas this year with a silver medal at ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth in June. Later this year they head to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the 49erFX World Championships in November.
Yesterday was a day of mixed fortunes for Andy Maloney in the Laser fleet posting a 2nd to start the day strongly. Unfortunately the 25 year old from Murrays Bay Sailing Club wasn’t able to replicate that in the second race of the day and he was edged out into 11th and didn’t sail today’s Laser medal race.
“A solid 2nd in race one yesterday was completely undone with a shocker in the final race. Very disappointed to end the event with my worst race and drop out of contention,” reflects Maloney.
“On the positive side, I am beginning to feel really comfortable in the Rio sailing conditions after this stint, which gives me some good confidence moving forwards at this awesome venue. Time to learn from it all, and make gains.”
Men’s 470
Men’s 470 pair Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox were back on the water today sailing one race in which they placed 13th. Their week was interrupted when Willcox had to sit out on a day of racing on the doctor’s recommendation and they conclude the regatta in 20th overall.

2015 Rio Test Event, Rio de Janeiro
The NZL Sailing Team final results

1stPeter Burling and Blair Tuke - 49er
3rdJo Aleh and Polly Powrie - Women’s 470
4thAlexandra Maloney and Molly Meech - 49erFX
5thGemma Jones and Jason Saunders - Nacra 17
5thJosh Junior - Finn
11thAndy Maloney – Laser
20thPaul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox - Men’s 470

How to follow
NZL Sailing Team daily media releases – sign up here
Yachting New Zealand website news
for daily media releases
NZL Sailing Team Facebook for updates and images
Rio Test Event Regatta website for news and results

Media Enquiries and Image Requests
Jodie Bakewell-White
Email Jodie@yachtingnz.org.nz

Brazil mobile +55 21 98741 9390

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Autopilots and Instruments - recent improvements

Aug 21 2015 09:48 AM | island time in Articles

I said in a thread I'd write a bit about currently available AP's and instruments, and the good bits to look for. Here you go.
Instruments first.
Pretty much all the instruments now available are NMEA2000 (yes, I know there are 1 or 2 exceptions). NMEA2000, for those who don't know, is the current industry standard for the data bus for your boat. It also carries power, and therefore there is a single cable connection to many of the instruments (ones that require lots of power have additional power connections). This makes installation and extension of systems much easier than it has been in the past. Basic NMEA 2000 rules (thin cable option, which is what virtually all yachts use) 100m max bus length, drop cables (to connect the devices from a T connector on the bus) max 6m. At each end of the bus, a terminator is required. Most boats use a masthead wind transducer that has a built in terminator as one end of the bus.
So, what has changed with instruments in the last few years?
I'll start with the B&G triton range as an example;
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Firstly, Colour screens, bonded directly to the glass front. This obviously means colour, but more importantly there is no air gap between the display and the screen, so it is not possible for these screens to fog up. Ever.
2ndly the screens are now all multi's - no dedicated wind/depth/speed. All screens can display anything, including autopilot functions.
Resolution 320x240, giving clear, readable, bright displays for easy reading in sunlight.
Low power consumption (50mA with lights off, up to 150mA with the lights on).
So, that is the basic display units, how about the transducers?
Well, not much has changed here with the basic units. The most significant is that now you can get all your data from a single thru hull transducer - speed/depth/temp all in one. Another is required if you want fwd sonar, which is the same size thru hull, but needs a metal thru hull, not plastic. This is because it protrudes thru the hull and is potentially vulnerable to hitting something. It has a designed in fracture point, but the impact required to break it is too much for the plastic thru hulls.
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AP's for the basic systems (like triton above) are quite advanced, and very reliable. They consist of a computer, control panel, and drive unit. Drive units are quite variable depending on your vessel type. The computers off full integration (via nmea2000) to the instruments and plotters, and can steer compass courses, wind angles, to routes/waypoints, and No Drift mode. They can also auto tack (great for single handers), follow bottom contours, and have various other options too numerous to go into here. Well spec'd to suit the boat, they can reliably steer your boat in virtually all conditions if used sensibly. They have some intelligence - like if the wind is fwd of the beam they can steer to apparent wind, if aft, then to true wind. This prevents the AP thinking there is a wind shift if, for example, you suddenly accelerate and surf down a wave.
However, they have some limitations. They can use a LOT of electricity. You need to ensure your boat is well balanced with the correct sails for the conditions to minimise power use - if it is hard for you to manually steer, it's hard for the AP! Tune your boat properly, balance it well, and this should not be an issue. There is one further thing to mention, and that is that these AP's are almost entirely REACTIVE - ie they wait for the boat to go off course before they correct the issue.

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This brings us to the high level instrument systems, like the h5000 B&G systems. These are aimed at serious race boats, and also long distance serious cruisers. This is the current state of the art. You can have multiple wind sensors, the calibration systems allow for things such as mast twist at various wind speeds, they (can) have a lot of sensors, including 3d motion sensors. The 3d motion sensor monitors the vessel position (roll, pitch & yaw) and, for example, configured with the known rig height, compensates the wind readings for boat movement. This means the instruments give steady, accurate information. They record any data to give trending and historical info. They interface with the boat's polars to give target speeds.
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The AP for the H5000 series was developed for the Vendee Globe boats, where the solo skipper has a gennaker on, and is doing 25 odd knots and wants to go to bed. This AP is as close to a human helmsman as it is currently possible to get with todays technology. As the system knows the attitude of the boat, it will, for example with a quartering wave, notice the change in attitude and apply counter rudder to keep course before the boat's course is effected by the wave. Steering is PROACTIVE with these AP's and a boat will keep a much better course than with the Triton series AP's.
As usual I'm happy to discuss this with anyone, and pricing as well as custom configuration for your boat is available - just give me a call 0221539176 or email matt@neptunes-gear.com
Thanks for reading!

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Run For Coastguard

Aug 17 2015 02:51 PM | island time in Articles

ASB Auckland Marathon 2015 Why run for the Coastguard Team?
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Its 6 am and the call goes out to Coastguard volunteers to launch their boat into the churning sea and biting wind to save someone they have never met.
They do this without question 24/7 and make a huge contribution to communities throughout New Zealand. By choosing to run for Coastguard every step you take and dollar you raise will provide essential funds to help our kiwi heroes continue to save lives at sea.

Join our Golden Runner Team
We have a limited number of places available on our Golden Runner team. As a golden runner we cover the cost of your entry, provide a t-shirt, training guides, access to the Q & A for advice and support and invite you to a special Golden Runners only event. You will also get lots of support and encouragement along the way to help you meet the challenge and your fundraising target.
When you run on the day we’ll be there to support you in true Coastguard style!
In return all we ask is that you do your best to raise:
  • Quarter and Half Marathon: $1,000
  • Full Marathon: $1,500
Apply for a Golden Runner place today >

Join our Charity Runner Team
If you have already secured your place through the official Auckland Marathon website, or are thinking about entering and would prefer not to commit to being a Golden Runner we’d love you join our team as a charity runner.
You would need to purchase your own ticket for any distance in the Auckland Marathon 2015. Set up a fundraising page for Coastguard through FundraiseOnline – and become a proud member of the Coastguard Charity Team. Whether you raise $100 or $1000 you’ll be supported and enjoy the journey with us.
Secure your entry via the Auckland Marathon website
Set up your fundraising page via the Fundraiseonline website
Join any of our teams, and you receive:
  • Training and fundraising tips
  • Coastguard running T-shirt
  • Pre-marathon invitation to visit, tour and meet, greet and inspire event at Coastguard Northern Region
  • Medal from Auckland Marathon if you raise over $300
  • Post-race marquee meeting area and refreshments
  • Top 20 runners receive a special goody bag with thanks from Coastguard
  • Lots of contact, encouragement and support from our team
For more information, please contact us today at marathon@coastguard.org.nz or call us on (09) 905 4760.
Go on run for Coastguard… as your support will save lives at sea

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PIC Coastal Classic to be streamed live!

Aug 17 2015 02:31 PM | island time in Articles

Posted Image Watch the 2015 PIC Coastal Classic LIVE at www.coastalclassic.co.nz Posted ImageFor the first time in the history of New Zealand's most iconic yacht race, the 2015 PIC Coastal Classic will be streamed live online at www.coastalclassic.co.nz.

Thanks to the support of title sponsors PIC Insurance Brokers, race followers will be able to watch the action as it happens, on their computer, tablet or smartphone. Coverage will start around 30 minutes before the race, which starts at 0930hrs NZT on 23rd October 2015.

This innovative development means that for the first time ever, audiences throughout New Zealand and around the world will be able to watch the spectacular start of the PIC Coastal Classic live, and follow the fleet as they sail out of the Waitemata past Rangitoto Light.

As New Zealand's biggest yacht race, the PIC Coastal Classic typically draws crowds of thousands of spectators to watch the start from vantage points like North Head and Devonport in Auckland. Now coverage of the event will be accessible to a global audience online, spectator numbers and worldwide interest in the race are expected to grow significantly.

Coverage of the mass start off Devonport Wharf will be broadcast live from on the water and on the shore, allowing spectators to follow all the action as it unfolds, from a variety of angles.

Race Director Matthew Flynn said: "It's an incredibly exciting time for the PIC Coastal Classic. As far as I'm aware, this is a first for New Zealand yacht racing, and the NZMYC are proud to be at the forefront of this technology, enabling this great event to be viewed by a truly global audience."

Daniel Garner of PIC Insurance Brokers commented: "For PIC it is really exciting to be asked to be involved in something which hasn't been done before. We have loved being involved with the Coastal Classic and now our staff and the public can enjoy live coverage of the Coastal Classic."

Live coverage of the race start will be filmed and broadcast by sailing website Live Sail Die. Suellen Hurling, founder of Live Sail Die, said: "This is such an exciting chapter for New Zealand sailing and the Live Sail Die team is really excited to be a part of this milestone."

Live coverage of the start of the 34th PIC Insurance Brokers Coastal Classic will be steaming at www.coastalclassic.co.nz from approximately 0900hrs on Friday 23rd October 2015.

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B&G Race start Software upgrade for Zeus 2...

Aug 14 2015 02:03 PM | island time in Articles

B&G RACEPANEL Software Update

For The Award Winning Zeus2

New racing software from B&G helps to get you at the front of the pack…

B&G, the world’s leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, is pleased to announce the latest in its software updates for the award winning Zeus2 series multi-functional displays (MFD) and Glass Helm systems. The new software focuses on racing startline technology that helps the navigator put the yacht in the right place at the right time during the start of a race. The update can even calculate the future with the ‘What If?’ function, which allows the user to simulate a range of different sailing options, for example, wind shifts during the current leg or determining the options for sail selection, depending on wind strength and direction on future legs of the course.

The new B&G software update introduces a new Race Panel menu screen to the Zeus2 display which allows easy access to a selection of powerful sail racing features. It has four different modes covering Race Timer, the ‘What if?’ function, H5000 style startline data and Deckman style startline scaled view, giving sailors a multiple number of display choices.

Leif Ottosson, CEO of Navico, parent company to B&G said: “This free update adds a significant functionality to the already feature packed Zeus2 chartplotter, helping sailors gain an advantage over their competitors in race conditions.” adding “The introduction of the H5000 startline technology, new racing panel and ‘What if?’ functions further demonstrate our commitment to ensure B&G technology continues its long history of being the best available marine electronics in the sailing market.”

The new Zeus2 software now makes the startline set up process simple by allowing the user to just input the Port and Starboard ends, either by ‘pinging’ to set them to the yacht’s current position, setting them at waypoint or cursor and then if necessary, finely adjusting the settings by nudging the end of the line on the Zeus2 screen up or down. Once these basic settings are in place, the user also has the option of entering a windward/leeward course directly using the range and bearing to the windward mark, the number of laps in the race and position of the startline relative to the leeward gate. The clever processing technology of the H5000 works in conjunction with the Zeus2 large format touchscreen displays and Glass helm HD screens, giving the user brilliant visual feedback throughout the race.

Zeus2 will also now be able to display route summaries showing current true wind angle (TWA) for each leg, allowing the crew to determine likely sail selections in advance, along with the ability to input waypoints using range and bearing from the current position where this is provided by the Race Committee.

The new B&G software update combined with the H5000 and Zeus2 helps give both professional and amateur sailors the advantage they need when it comes to winning races.

The new software is available to download from the B&G website www.bandg.com/en-AU/Support/Downloads/ from 29th July 2015. For more information on the new Race Panel go to: www.bandg.com/RacePanel and details on the Zeus2 range of chartplotters and H5000 series visit: www.bandg.com/en-GB/Product-Groups/Zeus2/


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From the top L to R
  • Startline Screen
  • Startline with Chart Screen
  • Startline Panels Screen
  • ‘What If?’ Screen
  • Windward / Leeward Route Builder Screen
About B&G: The B&G brand is all about passion for sailing - totally dedicated to the needs of sailors, whether cruisers, racers or Professionals, it is wholly owned by Navico, AS. Navico is currently the world’s largest marine electronics company and produces products under leading marine electronics brands: Lowrance, Simrad and B&G. Navico has approximately 1,500 employees globally and distribution in more than 10

Need Help with this or any other instrument/electronics issue with your boat? Contact Matt@neptunes-gear.com

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B&G Specials!

Aug 13 2015 01:13 PM | island time in Articles

If you are considering a New MFD Plotter, AIS or radar, check out these specials!

B&G Vulcan & Zeus2 AIS & Zeus2 Radar bundles, save a minimum of $471.50 !!


B&G Package 1
VULCAN (7 inch plotter), NAIS-400 AIS Transponder & NSPL-400 antenna splitter
Special Price $2,989.00 Incl GST Save $471.50!

B&G Package 2
ZEUS2 7", NAIS-400 AIS Transponder & NSPL-400 antenna splitter
$4.139.00 Incl GST Save $471.50!

B&G Package 3
ZEUS2 9", NAIS-400 AIS Transponder & NSPL-400 antenna splitter
$5,749.00 Incl GST Save $471.50!

B&G Package 4
ZEUS2 12", NAIS-400 AIS Transponder & NSPL-400 antenna splitter
$7,244.00 Incl GST Save $471.50!

B&G Package 5
ZEUS2 7" & 4G Broadband RADAR
$5.864.00 Incl GST Save $573.85!

B&G Package 6
ZEUS2 9" & 4G Broadband RADAR
$7.474.00 Incl GST Save $573.85!
B&G Package 7
ZEUS2 12" & 4G Broadband RADAR
$8.969.00 Incl GST Save $573.85!

Contact matt@neptunes-gear.com
or 0221539176

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Fundraiser for Paralympic Sailing

Aug 04 2015 09:23 AM | island time in Articles

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World Maritime Day

Aug 03 2015 09:25 AM | island time in Articles

Maritime New Zealand media release.
Maritime industry backing World Maritime activities 31 July 2015
With worldwide shortages of over 42,500 officers expected by 2019, the New Zealand maritime industry will focus firmly on education and training for “NZ Careers at Sea” to celebrate World Maritime Day (Thurs, Sept 24).
A cross sector maritime industry group is organising a week of activities from September 21-27 which may include ship and port visits and updated career information for careers advisors to encourage secondary students into a maritime career.
World Maritime Day is promoted by the International Maritime Organisation and this year’s theme is Maritime Education and Training.
Maritime NZ’s Director, Keith Manch, who is leading this industry initiative, said that: “for too long maritime careers have flown under the radar and we want to direct more young people to look at the exciting opportunities offered by a maritime career.”
Maritime NZ said 90% of the world’s goods are transported by sea and without mariners and a healthy maritime industry food, clothes, electronics and cars would not get to New Zealand.
Some of the jobs available include – officer, seafarer, deckhand, cook on a 100-1000 tonne oil tanker, navigating a cargo ship or shore-based jobs such as marine engineering, naval architecture, maritime law, stevedoring, logistics or support roles.
Maritime employers, seafarers, maritime workers and trainees will be encouraged to take part in the week of activities and share photos, videos, and tweets of what life is like in the maritime sector.
Organisations involved include Maritime NZ, Careers NZ, Cruise NZ, Maritime Union of NZ, NMIT, NZ Maritime School, PEPANZ, Seafood NZ, Shipping Federation and Shipping NZ.
We will keep you posted on planned New Zealand activities at:
World Maritime Day
For more information about World Maritime Day internationally check out the IMO website:
http://www.un.org/en...ts/maritimeday/ [IMO website] Maritime New Zealand Media Line: +64 4 499 7318 Posted Image

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Jul 16 2015 10:48 AM | island time in Articles

Posted ImagePosted Image
Groupama 24 : a solid leader
Past the midway mark in the race, Groupama 24 is holding firmly onto its place as leader of the overall ranking in the 38th edition of the Tour de France à la Voile. Having left Dunkirk on 3 July, the four crew, who have been taking it in turns aboard the one-design trimaran Diam 24, are racking up a solid pace and a level of consistency that few competitors are managing to keep up with. As the fleet leave the Atlantic bound for the Mediterranean, Pierre Pennec and Franck Cammas give us the low-down.
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Helmsman on Groupama 24 in the absence of Franck Cammas, who was competing in the World Nacra 17 Championships in Denmark, Pierre Pennec very quickly found the keys to performance: "These results are down to the work carried out by the whole team since March. We've prepared the boat well, the organisation is honed and the crew is as applied as it is relaxed. The upshot of that is that we're not getting overly tired and we're not stupidly wasting energy".

Aside from a fifth place due to around fifty litres of unexpected water ingress in the trimaran's forward section in the first coastal course, Groupama 24 has never finished lower than third place: "We go fast in all the different wind conditions and in all the course types. As a result, we're not taking tactical risks," continues the sailor who represented France in the Olympic Games in Sydney in a Tornado.

Making his grand entrance during the second day of the Roscoff stopover, Franck Cammas replaced Pierre Pennec at the helm: "This change of position went perfectly smoothly, as much for Franck as it did for me when I was switched over to trimming the mainsail and calling tactics. Franck very quickly adapted and found his bearings from the start of the season, which enabled us to secure a win in the Grand Prix de l'Ecole Navale".

For the person who has skippered and helmed the Groupama boats for the past 18 years, the arrival on the Tour de France has been managed in the usual way, namely with precision: "We knew exactly what we had to do. From Denmark I was being kept informed about the crew's performance on a daily basis. They handled the situation superbly well and the presence of our coach, Maxime Paul, has been important. He has a very good technical eye with regards the trimming, both ours and those of our rivals".

As far as that competition is concerned, the presence of CombiWest and Spindrift on the podium comes as no surprise: "Of the five pre-season races, these are the two crews who performed the best along with ourselves. As such, it's fairly logical to see them here. We're more amazed by the fine performances posted by the youngsters on Vannes Agglo and Grandeur Nature Vérandas, who we didn't see at the start of the season".

With a 17-point lead over CombiWest and 28 over Spindrift, Groupama 24's position is certainly appealing, but it is in no way definitive: "We know the value of our rivals. They won't give an inch, added to which they are very strong in the close-contact racing. They just need to be aware that we're not going to drop our guard. We want this Tour," concludes Pierre Pennec, who was in great shape as he set a course for Roses in Spain.

Overall ranking after the first 9 days:
1/ Groupama 24 with 440 points
2/ CombiWest: - 17 points
3/ Spindrift: - 28 points
4/ Grandeur Nature Vérandas: - 34 points
5/ Vannes Agglo: - 52 points
28/ 30 Corsaires: - 215 points
About Groupama
Boosted by its various brands, Groupama, Gan and Amaguiz, the Groupama group, France's top mutual insurance company is expanding its insurance, banking and financial services in eleven countries. The group comprised 13 million clients and 34,000 representatives around the world, with a turnover totaling 13.6 billion euros.
For further information please visit: www.groupama.com

Press Contact
Vincent Borde : +33 (0)6 07 68 18 95

Groupama Contact
Groupama S.A.
Group communications department
Matthieu Agostini +33 (0)1 44 56 71 50
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